Several websites, including B-BBC (open thread H/T Piggy Kosher) have mentioned the case of “The popular Tunisian singer Saleem Bakkoush” who has been forced to cancel what seems to have been a cherished long-awaited performance at a prestigious festival, all because his fellow Tunisians discovered he had once performed at a synagogue. Which is enough to render him persona non grata in Tunisia.
He’s not alone. Pity the poor Tunisian singer who chanted “Long Live Netanyahu!”
That would be because of the antisemitism by the way, in case you didn’t quite grasp that from the article by BBC World Service Middle East editor Magdi Abdelhadi.
This BBC person has previous. In response to a complaint in 2009 the BBC had to remind the middle east team of the need to explain this ‘situation’ clearly, should it arise again. Well, it has ariss.
This ‘situation’ as blogged by Notasheep, and here.
From a comment by ‘anonymous’ from the Point of No Return Blog:
“I emailed MAH last night to ask why his article was framed purely in terms of the anti-Israel, rather than also the anti-semitic, nature of the incident (..I also asked ) why he mentioned at the end that most Jews “left” the Arab world decades ago, since we both knew that most of them were forced out or fled for their lives.
Disappointingly, he responded to say that in the Arab world the two issues are conflated (which didn’t explain why he did the same); that you can’t talk in terms of European antisemitism in the Arab (…) and that while some Jews fled, others left and anyway, that wasn’t relevant to the article […]I found his response – particularly around the extent and nature of Arab antisemitism – deeply disappointing, given his role at the BBC and the previous censure from the BBC’s ECU following his report on the Refugee conference last year which ploughed basically the same furrow – life not so bad for Jews in the Arab world, no serious mention of antisemitism, all about Israel not Jews. “
“It was indeed Magdi Abdelhadi who was censured by the BBC’s ECU for saying that Jews were ‘well integrated’ into Arab lands when historically they were constrained as dhimmis
Life Not Hunky Dory For Jews in Arab Countries It is clear as day that this instance of the singer being banned is driven by pure (Arab) antisemitism, as you rightly argue, Anon, but MAH continues to fudge and dodge the question.
Following the London Jewish Refugees conference in 2008, the BBC promised to do more on the subject, but we are still waiting. Meanwhile the articles on the Palestinian Nakba continue to pour forth from the BBC, without the slightest attempt at balance.”
An important article the BBC should read. The Nakba Obsession by Sol Stern